General Sorting Info

What happens during a sorting…

Ranch Sorting, in its basic form, is successfully sorting/cutting cattle out in a specific order and moving them from one cattle pen into another in teams of two.
Keep in mind that one person on the team of two will guard the “gate” to make sure that cows that have already been sorted don’t cross back into the herd (where they really want to be with all their buddies) and one person proceeds to “sort” a specific number cow out of the herd. And all in under 60 or 90 seconds! Team members can alternate sorting or guarding the gate, or not.

Official Rules

  1. There will be no abuse, or excessive schooling of cattle or horses. Flagger &/or Director can make a decision for abuse and/or roughing, and the contestant may be subject to disqualification.
  2. Use of foul language while participating in a sorting event will be cause for ejection from the event without refund of entry fees. 1st offense = warning, 2nd offense = $10.00 fine. 3rd offense = $25.00 fine. This is Per an event
  3. All contestants and herd settlers at a HDTPA sanctioned show must wear western attire: Collared western shirt and boots. Western hat is optional. Western attire is optional for the timers and announcers. Tank tops, tee shirts, polo shirts, and ball caps will not be allowed, inside the sorting arena. A fine of $10 will be levied by the judges at their discretion, against any contestant not in compliance. Fines must be paid before the contestant rides again. Helmets are acceptable.
  4. All cattle will be bunched on the cattle side of the starting line within the designated area before the time begins. The judge will raise the flag to signal when the arena is ready. The flag will drop Time will Start when the nose of the first horse crosses the start/foul line. The contestants will be given their cattle number when the team crosses the foul line.
  5. There will be at least 10 cattle in the end of the arena marked with visible numbers, 0-9. No more than one (1) un-numbered cattle shall be used in any heard.
  6. Cattle will be settled after each run, to the satisfaction of the flagger. The team that just finished, must allow the new team to enter the arena, prior to exiting.
  7. You are to start with the starting number and continue in a numerical order. For example: Your number is 6. You must first sort 6, then 7, 8, 9, 0, etc.
  8. Thirty (30) seconds after the previous team sorts, the following team must be in the arena ready to ride. Any further delay will be judged a no time, unless waived for good cause.
  9. If any cattle, already sorted, cross back over the foul line, in whole or in part the team is disqualified.
  10. If any cattle cross the foul line out of sequence, the team is disqualified.
  11. Teams are judged on their number of cattle sorted, and on the time it took to sort them.
    1. It is permissive to stop sorting anytime to hold cattle already sorted until the clock runs out.
    2. A lap timer will be used to determine “time” on less than ten 10 head sorted.
  12. No hazing of cattle with hats, romels or ropes will be permitted. Slapping hand to leg or Rommel to leg is acceptable.
  13. Decisions of Flaggers are FINAL.
  14. Any appeals must be made before leaving the arena.
    1. Two (2) Directors will be in charge at each sorting event. Appeals will be resolved by the two (2) Directors in charge and the Flagger, if the appeal involves the Flagger’s decision.
    2. Any member who refuses to abide by the final decision of an appeal and/or continue the dispute, may be disqualified from further participation at the respective event. Any further suspension from future events would require a vote by the Board of Directors.
  15. In a case where a cow falls down behind the line, any team member can stop the clock by raising their hand. This will allow the arena Directors to make a decision as to whether the problem resulted from rider error or the cow being faulty.
  16. A cow is considered sorted when the nose crosses the line.
  17. All sortings will be two (2) man teams. After the end of each run, whether from disqualification or from successful time, riders should single file the remaining cattle into the next sorting pen in an orderly fashion.
  18. A recommended pen size of 60 wide X 60 deep and to sort two directions. Any changes are to be made by the Board of Directors and at their discretion